Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Mary E. Ralston letters

Abstract

The Mary E. Ralston letters (dated 1942-1947, undated; 0.2 cubic feet; 3 folders) comprise letters that document the life of mothers with sons in the military during World War II.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Mary E. Ralston letters
Creator
Ralston, Mary E., 1903-1991
Extent
0.2 Cubic Feet
Subjects
Letters.
Rationing -- Kentucky.
Rationing -- United States.
Soldiers -- Kentucky.
Soldiers -- United States.
Women -- Kentucky.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Women.
Arrangement
Collection is arranged chronologically. The Wade Hall Collection of American Letters has been processed into discrete collections based on provenance.
Finding Aid Author
Sarah Coblentz
Preferred Citation
2009ms132.0094: [identification of item], Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Mary E. Ralston letters, 1942-1947, undated, University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
Mary E. Ralston (1903-1991) was born in Canmer, Kentucky to Buford Allen McFelea (1879-1960) and Maggie McFelea (1879-1963). She married Rush Ralston (1893-1969), a tobacco farmer, on May 12, 1923. Together they had one son, Cova C. Ralston (1925-1945), who was stationed in Germany during World War II and ultimately killed in action in June 1945.
American Letters collector Wade Hall (1934-2015) was a native of Union Springs, Alabama. Starting in 1962, he lived in Louisville, where he taught English and chaired the English and Humanities/Arts programs at Kentucky Southern College and Bellarmine University. He also taught at the University of Illinois and the University of Florida. He held degrees from Troy State University (B.S.), the University of Alabama (M.A.), and the University of Illinois (Ph.D.). He served for two years in the U.S. Army in the mid-fifties. Dr. Hall was the author of books, monographs, articles, plays, and reviews relating to Kentucky, Alabama, and Southern history and literature. His most recent books include A Visit with Harlan Hubbard; High Upon a Hill: A History of Bellarmine College; A Song in Native Pastures: Randy Atcher's Life in Country Music; and Waters of Life from Conecuh Ridge.
Scope and Content
The Mary E. Ralston letters (dated 1942-1947, undated; 0.2 cubic feet; 3 folders) comprise letters that document the life of mothers with sons in the military during World War II. Many of the letters to Ralston are from two women in particular: Marie Adcock of Charlotte, North Carolina and Kate Sydnor Smith of Hodgenville, Kentucky. Both women had sons in the Army who knew and served with Cova (Eddie Lee (Joe) Adcock and Robert Smith) and their letters offer information on their son's whereabouts, encouragement, and later condolences for the loss of her son. Other letters from friends and family discuss gas and food rationing, defense plant work, opinions on the war, and domestic affairs.
The Mary E. Ralston letters are part of the Wade Hall Collection of American letters, which includes correspondence and diaries from all over North America covering the time period of the Civil to Korean Wars. The materials were collected by Wade Hall and document everyday men and women.

Restrictions on Access and Use

Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Access The collection is open to researchers by appointment.
Use Restrictions
The physical rights to the materials in this collection are held by the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.

Contents of the Collection

Mary E. Ralston letters, 1942 February 1-1945 June 4

  • Box 50, folder 1
To top

Mary E. Ralston letters, 1945 June 19-1947 April 26

  • Box 50, folder 2
To top

Mary E. Ralston letters, undated

  • Box 50, folder 3
To top

UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center is open by appointment only on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Materials must be requested at least 5 days before your appointment.

Researchers must have an SCRC Researcher Account to request materials. View account set-up and use instructions here.

Questions? Contact SCRC via our Contact Form.

You may come across language in UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center collections and online resources that you find harmful or offensive. SCRC collects materials from different cultures and time periods to preserve and make available the historical record. These materials document the time period when they were created and the view of their creator. As a result, some may demonstrate racist and offensive views that do not reflect the values of UK Libraries.

If you find description with problematic language that you think SCRC should review, please contact us at SCRC@uky.edu.

UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center is open by appointment only on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Materials must be requested at least 5 days before your appointment.

Researchers must have an SCRC Researcher Account to request materials. View account set-up and use instructions here.

Questions? Contact SCRC via our Contact Form.

Requests

No items have been requested.



  1. Schedule an appointment. Properly fitting masks are required.

  2. Submit a request for SCRC materials.



You may come across language in UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center collections and online resources that you find harmful or offensive. SCRC collects materials from different cultures and time periods to preserve and make available the historical record. These materials document the time period when they were created and the view of their creator. As a result, some may demonstrate racist and offensive views that do not reflect the values of UK Libraries.

If you find description with problematic language that you think SCRC should review, please contact us at SCRC@uky.edu.